Thin Pan Siam Bistro
170 Lake Street S
Kirkland WA 98033
Thin is Taken a Bit Too Literally Here
By: Grant Y
Walking into Thin Pan Siam Bistro from the pedestrian friendly Lake Street, you immediately notice the classic Asian wood paneling providing a backdrop against the bar and kitchen entry. Above, the halogen track lighting shimmers and adds a touch of modern style that highlights Kirkland's personality mash up of classic meets new.
The interior of Thin Pan is relatively small compared to your general dining establishment, with perhaps nine tables or so. Compared to other Kirkland restaurants however, this one is still modestly sized. On a crowded day, it would probably be a little uncomfortable to dine here, but today, it was relatively slow going.
Our hostess greeted us fairly quickly and sat us down with menus. Water was served in interesting metal cups that resembled small bowls. While they looked unique and entertaining, they were slightly odd to drink out of, imparting the slight taste of metal to my lips and teeth as I drank. Some diners might not be too keen on this type of style over substance.
Items on our lunch menu consisted of Thai staples such as pad thai, pad kee mao, curries and other classic dishes, living up to the "bistro" title of simple dishes. We ordered two Thai staples - the Yellow Curry and Pad See Ew, in addition to a Honey Chicken dish.
Honey Chicken was a dish I was unfamiliar with in the Seattle area, but is apparently a popular dish in Thailand. Quick research showed that traditional recipes call for a combination of honey, soy sauce and spices, which is left to marinate with the chicken for a number of hours.
When the honey chicken arrived however, whatever joyful anticipation I had vanished into the two spoon-sized slivers of chicken that was supposed to be lunch "Is this it?" Steve asked incredulously, as I debated whether this was some cruel tongue-in-cheek joke on the restaurant's "Thin" name. If so, I suggest renaming the honey chicken to such coy names as "Buddha's Famine", "The Alley McBeal Special", or "Mime Food". To add insult to injury, the dish tasted like nothing more than stir-fried chicken with a minimal glaze of honey.
Seeing my reaction to the honey chicken, Steve waited for his curry with as much hope as a prisoner at the gallows. His phad see ew came with a pardon apparently, as it was almost a full portion and even showed decent plating. The noodles had the right texture, a sweet sauce coating and also included crisp and fresh vegetables.
The yellow curry showed up just in time to dash our hopes once more, as it emerged in a half-hearted lunch portion cup. To it's credit, the curry was creamy and smooth, with a good texture. The meat and veggies were tender and made for an enjoyable, albeit small, entree.
Overall, we felt that while there were some positive points to Thin Pam Siam Bistro, none of them could negate the serious lack of portions we encountered. We have noticed the restaurant curiously crowded while performing other reviews in the Kirkland area, so perhaps a follow-up may be in order sometime in the future.
If you like Thin Pan Siam Bistro, you may also like: